Zipper Rupture Bulletin Now Available

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 13, 2008 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association announced today the issuance of a revised Tire Industry Service Bulletin for procedures in addressing zipper ruptures in certain commercial vehicle tires.

The purpose of this bulletin is to describe the inspection procedures for identifying potential sidewall circumferential ruptures (also know as “zipper ruptures”) on truck/bus tires and light truck tires of steel cord radial construction.
Zipper ruptures can be extremely hazardous to tire repair technicians. Careful adherence to proper repair procedures is crucial. Ply cords weaken by under inflation or overloading may break one after another, until a rupture occurs in the upper sidewall with accompanying instantaneous air loss and explosive force. This can result in serious injury or death.

The bulletin, “Inspection Procedures to Identify Potential Sidewall ‘Zipper Ruptures’ In Steel Cord Radial Truck, Bus and Light Truck Tires” Volume 33 no. 3, is available on the RMA web site’s Publication section or can be ordered by phone at 800-325-5095 or fax 330-725-5095.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA Announces New National Tire Safety Week Date

Mark Your Calendars! Event Moves to June in 2009

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 15, 2008 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association today announced the eighth Annual National Tire Safety Week will be held June 7-13, 2009.

Next year’s National Tire Safety Week schedule represents a departure from previous years when the event was held in late April. Future National Tire Safety Weeks also will be scheduled in June.

The annual event is an initiative of the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program, a year-round effort designed to help drivers learn the simple steps they can take to ensure that their tires are in good working condition. RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers.

Tire manufacturers and retailers nationwide will work to educate motorists about proper tire care and maintenance. RMA provides tire retailers, auto dealers and automotive repair shops with free “Be Tire Smart” brochures and other materials. Many participating retail outlets use the opportunity to promote tire care through advertising, promotions, free tire pressure checks and conducting media outreach.

More than 19,000 tire dealers, auto dealers and automotive repair shops participated during the 2008 National Tire Safety Week.

“Each year, we continue to see more tire and auto industry retail locations join in the effort to help educate motorists about the benefits of regular tire maintenance,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Ensuring that tires are properly inflated every month will save consumers money at the gas pump, help keep tires rolling longer and promote safety.”

Partners in the Be Tire Smart program include tire retailers, auto dealers, safety advocates and state government agencies. Among the list of Be Tire Smart partners are: AAA, American Car Care Centers (ACCC), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), Big 10 Tires, Belle Tire, Big O Tires, Costco, Discount Tire Co., Expert Tire, Firestone Complete Auto Care, GCR Tire Centers, Goodyear Auto Centers, Just Tires, Kaufman Tire, Les Schwab, Merchant’s Tire, National Tire and Battery (NTB), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Northwest Tire, Peerless Tires, Pep Boys, Sears Automotive Centers, STS Tire and Auto Centers, Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, Tire Factory, Tire Industry Association (TIA), Tire Kingdom, Tire One, Tires Plus, Tire Warehouse, Town Fair Tires, VIP Parts, Tires and Service, Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express and many others.

Tire and auto retailers who are interested in obtaining free RMA materials for National Tire Safety Week can order them online at www.betiresmart.org. Those who have participated in the event before can expect to receive materials again this year.

The Be Tire Smart program is funded by RMA’s tire manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Inc., Pirelli North America, Inc., Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas, Inc., and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

For more information on the Be Tire Smart Program and National Tire Safety Week visit www.betiresmart.org.

Falling Temperatures Can Affect tire Pressure

Tire Makers Urge Motorists to Be Tire Smart and Check Tire Pressure Regularly

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 1, 2008 - Autumn brings falling leaves and temperatures but also can cause a drop in tire pressure. For every 10 degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature tire pressure can drop 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi).

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a trade organization that represents tire manufacturers, is again reminding motorists to check tire pressure at least once a month. According to RMA, under inflated tires can pose a safety risk, waste fuel and cause tires to wear out prematurely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated tire and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes. Additionally, properly inflated tires can improve fuel economy by 3.3 percent or about 12 cents per gallon.

According to an RMA-sponsored survey, 85 percent of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire pressure.

“Checking tires is important throughout the year but with temperatures starting to fall, motorists need to be aware of the affect on tire pressure,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Keeping tires properly inflated promotes safety, maximizes fuel economy and helps tires last.”

For more information about proper tire care, visit www.betiresmart.org.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

New Report Confirms Ground Rubber as Environmentally Sound

No Adverse Human, Ecological Health Effects

Download Full Report (updated 2013)

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 19, 2008 - Athletic fields and playgrounds constructed with ground rubber made from scrap tires pose no adverse human or ecological health effects, according to a comprehensive report commissioned by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a tire industry trade group.

The report evaluated the health and ecological risks associated with the use of recycled tire rubber in consumer applications, particularly playgrounds and athletic fields. A thorough review of available literature was conducted including studies from both advocates and opponents to the use of recycled tire materials. An examination of the weight of evidence across all of the available studies was conducted to enable a comprehensive assessment of potential risk.

“We believe this report will add to the growing body of evidence showing that the use of scrap tire rubber in these applications is not only safe, but has several major safety benefits,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “This report has reviewed the worldwide wealth of knowledge on this topic and we are hopeful that it will contribute to correcting any misperceptions about tire rubber in the environment.”

The use of recycled tire rubber is widely used as an infill material for synthetic sports fields and as a floor cover for playgrounds. Both applications take advantage of the exceptional cushioning characteristics of tire rubber and provide increased safety relative to other materials.

Athletic fields and playground cover are two of the fastest growing and largest end uses for recycled ground tire rubber. Approximately 13 million scrap tires are used in these applications annually.

The report, Review of the Human Health & Ecological Safety of Exposure to Recycled Tire Rubber found at Playgrounds and Synthetic Turf Fields, is available for download at www.rma.org.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

2008 TIRE SHIPMENTS REVISED DOWNWARD

Original Equipment Passenger Tires Down To 1991 Levels

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 4, 2008 - Tire shipments are projected to decline by nearly 4 percent this year compared to 2007, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

The decline in tire shipments reflects the worsening domestic economic pressures predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors. Overall, the combined OE and replacement tire shipments for 2008 light vehicle and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by more than 12 million units to approximately 298 million total shipments. Shipments totaled 310 million units in 2007.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2008 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This category is projected to decrease by more than 11 percent to approximately 41 million units in 2008 as a result of continued decreases in domestic vehicle production. This will mark the lowest level of OE shipments since 1991 when OE shipments stood at 41.8 million units. A further decrease of approximately 3 percent is expected for 2009 owing to a protracted economic recovery and continued market share gains for light vehicle imports.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: Due to the fundamental shift in consumer demand for vehicles with higher fuel economy, a shift in vehicle fitments to P-metric passenger tires and market share increases by import vehicle manufacturers, light truck vehicles fitted with LT tires will be significantly impacted. A decrease of more than 35 percent is projected for 2008 accounting for approximately 1.6 million fewer units shipped from the 4.4 million total OE units in 2007. For 2009, a modest 200,000 unit increase is anticipated owing to resumption of economic growth in the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: For 2008, this category is projected to decrease by approximately 12 percent to nearly 4.1 million units. This decrease is attributed to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. However a considerable rebound of more than 24 percent is forecasted for 2009 as economic activity improves and truck sales increase. Anticipation of changes in EPA regulations for 2010 will inspire a pull-forward effect of truck sales into 2009.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: A slowing economy and high energy prices are factors in a reduction in consumer driving. As a consequence, this category will realize a nearly 1 percent decrease, or approximately 2 million units, reaching a level of 202 million units in 2008. The 2009 forecast is for no growth due to continuing difficult economic conditions.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is projected to decrease by approximately 2.4 million units, or nearly 7 percent, to about 32 million units in 2008. Although the number of vehicles for this market remains steady and largely represented by small commercial vehicles, declining economic conditions and fewer miles driven will contribute to a further projected 5 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is projected to decline to approximately 16 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 600,000 units or 3.5 percent over 2007. Again, the decrease reflects a further weakening of the economy and protracted recovery as fewer goods are being transported.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee is comprised of tire market analyst professionals representing the major U.S. tire manufacturers, which account for over 90percent of all U.S. tire shipments. Their analyses and forecasts of current and future industry activity include a review of RMA tire industry and economic data, government trade figures, and vehicle sales and production. TMAC develops its consensus view for tire demand from this process. The views expressed in this release are not the sole opinion of any one committee member, member company, or RMA representative.

RMA Statement Regarding the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in Public Citizen V. M Peters

Click here to access the decision

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.July 22, 2008 - Today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is unfortunate and may lead to the release of inaccurate, unsubstantiated information about tires and automotive equipment.

Much of the information filed under the early warning reporting system often consists of raw and often unverified allegations. As a consequence, it is extremely likely that some consumers’ claims will in fact turn out to have been mistaken. However, tire manufacturers must report these unsubstantiated allegations because the Early Warning Reporting System requires only “minimal specificity” for filing claims.

Additionally, the system does not allow tire manufacturers to correct data even if it is discovered that a particular consumer claim was unjustified or was made against the wrong tire company.

Due to the fact that this information includes mere unsubstantiated claims, this raw, early warning data should not be considered by consumers to be an accurate gauge of performance or reliability for any tire. Early warning information is appropriately reported to the nation’s highway safety agency that has the ability and resources to evaluate and analyze the data for potential safety issues.

Should officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration find that a safety investigation is warranted, the public should then be notified so that remedial action can be considered.

With this decision, unverified information released by the government can be misinterpreted and thereby unnecessarily alarm motorists about products that are safe. At the same time, safety regulators will be forced to needlessly expend finite public resources responding to such public alarm generated by the raw and unverified allegations.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

Tire Industry CEO Meeting

WBCSD, ETRMA, KOTMA, JATMA, RMA

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.June 13, 2008 - Tire company CEOs acknowledge positive results on international industry research program studying potential environmental and health impacts on tire materials and tire roadway particles

CEOs decide:

  • Further work on tire materials will be conducted individually within the EU REACH program
  • US$2.2 million additional funding for the study of tire wear particles due to its complexity.

The Chief Executive Officers from leading tire companies in the United States, Japan, Korea and Europe met June 12 in Tokyo, to review progress and advance their multi-year research program studying potential environmental and health impacts of their products. The work is organized under the auspices of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) based in Geneva Switzerland, a non-profit organization known for its work with global businesses on critical environmental and social issues.

During the past 16 months researchers focused on two key issues: improving understanding of the materials used to make tires, and studying tire wear and roadway particles generated during normal vehicle use.

For the first issue, they completed preliminary exposure assessments for tire materials selected from a list of commonly-used tire materials on the basis of their physical/chemical properties and known gaps in exposure data. These independent assessments showed sufficient margins of safety for human health based on screening models. Further analysis of these materials will be carried out individually by the tire companies and their suppliers under the European Union’s REACH program for registration and evaluation of chemicals.

For the second issue, researchers collected particles using a specially constructed system mounted on a passenger car and truck driven over French roadways. In addition, laboratory generated particles were collected inside road simulators in Germany and Sweden which used tires moving on real sections of road pavement and simulated driving courses.

Preliminary analysis shows the roadway particles collected using passenger car and truck vehicles to be a complex mixture of rubber from many tires mixed with road debris including dust, fuel residues, brake lining residue and small stones. Environmental testing shows no acute environmental toxicity from tire wear or roadway particles. Testing of particles smaller than 10 microns for human health impact will be conducted. The results and conclusions from the tire wear particle research will be presented at upcoming scientific conferences.

“The ability to collect and analyze small and airborne particles is extremely complex and it is important to undertake further study to fully understand the potential impact,” said Howard Klee, director of the WBCSD Tire Industry Project.

Reports will be available on the WBCSD website (www.wbcsd.org) at the end of July.

The CEOs approved additional work at a cost of US$2.2 million over the next 18 months during which time the companies will expand the information obtained so far, collecting additional particle samples, conducting additional testing, and identifying a way to track any airborne tire wear particles in the environment.

An independent assurance group, brought together by the WBCSD, reviewed the scoping work in October 2006 and research progress in April 2008. Members of the group include Prof. John Spengler, (Harvard University School of Public Health), Dr. Raman Letchumanan (Asean Environmental Secretariat), Dr. Meshgan Al Awar (Dubai Police Academy Research Institute), Prof. Michel Savy (Paris-Val-de Marne University), and Prof. Akio Morishima (former Director, Institute of Global Environmental Strategies, IGES).

Participating companies include producers from Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States: Bridgestone Corporation, Continental AG, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., Kumho Tire Co. Inc., Groupe Michelin, Pirelli Tyre SpA., Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., and The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin have served as co-leaders of the group’s work to date.

Representatives of the tire industry associations in the United States, Japan, Korea, and Europe also attended the meeting.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA Names Dr. Charles A. Cannon as President and CEO

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 29, 2008 - Dr. Charles A. Cannon was named President and CEO of RMA. He has served in that role on an interim basis since February.

“Next January, a new administration in Washington will present new challenges and new opportunities. We are adamant in our belief that the tire and rubber industry needs to be prepared for January 2009 and the days and months that follow,” said James MacMaster, Chairman of the RMA Board of Directors (Yokohama Tire Corporation). “For that reason, the RMA Executive Committee is in agreement that Charlie Cannon is clearly the right person to be the RMA CEO.”

Cannon got his start in Washington on the staff of the House Appropriations Committee followed by several years with United Technologies Washington, D.C. office. He has managed Cannon Consultants, Inc., for the last twenty years, serving such diverse clients as Los Alamos National Laboratory, The National Audubon Society and the California Energy Commission.

Dr. Cannon also has served as CEO for Land Mine Detection Systems, Inc., was co-founder and Vice President for New Product Development Consortium, a venture capital consortium, and he was Executive Vice-President for the Composting Council and the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation.

Cannon earned his PhD from Stanford University, an MA from Rice University, and a BA from Columbia University.

“On behalf of RMA’s Executive Committee, let me say how excited we are over the prospect of Charlie Cannon leading the RMA as our CEO,” MacMaster said. “We believe that his leadership will help us build a stronger and more vibrant RMA.”

“I am looking forward to working with RMA’s members to address the many challenging issues facing this industry, Cannon said. “This is a unique and exhilarating opportunity for me and I am thrilled at the prospect of continuing to work with an industry with such a long and distinguished history.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA Signs Commitment to Work With US Mexican Governments on Border Scrap Tire Management Initiative

RMA Committement Letter

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 15, 2008 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association has signed a letter of understanding with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to implement a bilateral scrap tire management initiative.

The letter was signed during the recent Border 2012 meeting which occurred during the International Tire Conference in San Diego. The conference was hosted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board in cooperation with RMA. RMA is the only non-government entity that has signed a letter of understanding.

The U.S.–Mexico Border Scrap Tire Integrated Management Initiative, referred to as the Tire Initiative, was signed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in October 2006 as a result of commitments made by the United States and Mexico during the 2004 Binational Commission meeting to develop an environmentally sustainable scrap tire management framework.

“Since 2000, RMA has been dedicated to the border region by being a leading source of information, building infrastructure and developing tire markets along the border,” RMA said in a letter to EPA and SEMARNAT. “We understand that the U.S.-Mexico Border Scrap Tire Integrated Management Initiative provides concrete actions that when employed have great potential to contribute significantly to the prevention of future border scrap tire piles.”

The goals of the Tire Initiative are to clean up old tire stockpiles, prevent the creation of new stockpiles, better understand the problems of scrap tire generation and involve stakeholders and communities in developing solutions.

The Tire Initiative also seeks to create environmentally acceptable and economically promising end-use markets for scrap tires.

“RMA has had a long commitment toward working with all stakeholders and both the U.S. and Mexican governments to achieve workable solutions to scrap tire management issues along the border of our nations,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president, resource recovery. “We appreciate the opportunity to work together to clean up border communities and prevent the creation of additional scrap tire stockpiles.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

National Tire Safety Week Events Educate Motorists

View photos from the events

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 6, 2008 - More than 19,000 tire retail, auto dealers, automotive repair shops and others participated in the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s seventh annual National Tire Safety Week this year.
RMA co-sponsored and participated in three tire care education and media events with a number of Be Tire Smart partners.

In San Francisco on April 21, RMA teamed with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), AAA of Northern California and San Francisco police at a city Chevron gas station to check tire pressure, distribute literature and communicate tire care messages. CIWMB Chair Margo Reid Brown spoke at the event to urge motorists to check their tires so they will last longer. The agency launched a tire sustainability program last year as part of its scrap tire management mission in the state.

The next day, RMA participated in an event in southern California at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale that provided media guests with an opportunity to experience braking and driving a slalom course on both properly inflated and under inflated tires.

The event was co-sponsored by the Auto Club of Southern California and Yokohama Tire Corporation. Jim MacMaster, Yokohama Executive Vice President, Business Division and Chairman of the RMA Board of Directors spoke of the tire industry’s commitment to educating consumers about the environmental and safety benefits of proper tire care. Officers of the California Highway Patrol also participated.

On April 24, RMA and Firestone Complete Auto Care held an event at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia. Firestone Complete Auto Care technicians checked tire pressure and taught students how to properly maintain tires. More than 600 vehicles were checked during the event. Students who drove to school had the opportunity throughout the day to have their tires checked and to learn about the importance of proper tire pressure.

As part of the event, East Paulding High School students had the opportunity to help raise funds for a local charity Cops for Kids, an organization that promotes positive police interaction with students aged 13-16. RMA and Firestone Complete Auto Care also contributed $1,000 to the organization.

“We are very pleased with the partnerships we’ve developed over the past several years to help promote important tire care messages,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “The events we facilitated, however, were just a fraction of the activities that were undertaken by all of our partners. We are incredibly thankful to everyone who participated this year to raise awareness of the benefits of proper tire care to help save lives, save fuel and protect the environment.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.